Scarlets would 'dearly love' Dublin return - Wayne Pivac

Scarlets team huddle
Scarlets are unbeaten at home in the league in two years

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac says his side would "dearly love" a return to Dublin after last month's European Cup exit.

They took one step closer to a place in the Pro14 final at the Aviva Stadium with a convincing quarter-final victory over Cheetahs on Saturday.

They face Glasgow away at Scotstoun in the last four on Friday, 18 May.

Pivac said "both teams know what the reward is" at the end of the 80 minutes.

Scarlets were comprehensively beaten by Leinster in the semi-final of the Champions Cup on 21 April.

Dublin disappointment

While Pivac admits to the best team winning, he said: "The [Scarlets] players feel as if they didn't play their best game, and to go out of a competition not playing as well as you can is disappointing".

Should Scarlets make it to the final, they would face either Leinster or Munster.

"The guys would dearly love to get back to the Aviva regardless of who is on the other side of the pitch, but obviously we've got a pretty strong Glasgow team at home to pass before we worry about that," Pivac said.

Rhys Patchell congratulates Gareth Davies
Scarlets beat Glasgow 26-8 at Parc y Scarlets on 7 April

'Hammer and tongs'

Glasgow finished top of Conference A in the league, but their form did not transfer across to the European stage, as hopes of the making the Champions Cup knock-out stages were over before Christmas.

Dave Rennie's men have not played since their Pro14 loss to Edinburgh on 28 April.

By the time they host Scarlets, their players would have had almost three week's rest - something the Llanelli-side benefited from last year before going on to win the Pro12 title.

Pivac said: "Last year we felt that the rest favoured us, but it's a different season and it's going to come down to a massive 80 minutes.

"They're going to be a tough opponent regardless of who's had what days off. We've both got big squads and I'm so whichever sides get selected will be going hammer and tongs to get the result."

Leigh Halfpenny leaves the field
Leigh Halfpenny was taken off shortly after the half hour mark against Cheetahs

Ball needs time

Pivac allayed injury concerns to full-back and wing Leigh Halfpenny, who left the field against Cheetahs in the first half.

"He just felt his hamstring tighten. He tried to play through it but it wasn't going away, so it was a matter of getting him off there as quickly as possible," he said.

"He'll need treatment and will hopefully be right for the Glasgow game."

Pivac also expects to have full-back Johnny McNicholl back in training later in the week, after the New Zealander recovered from shoulder surgery ahead of schedule.

But he ruled out any return for second row Jake Ball, who he previously said had impressed since coming back to training after dislocating his shoulder with Wales.

"Even if he was cleared I don't think we'd play him anyway," Pivac said.

"He's a dual contracted player and we won't be doing anything with Jake. The only way we would is if we were all in agreement and I think we're all in agreement that he just needs a bit more time."

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